A very large number of items can be used as soap carving tools. Soap is a soft and easy to manipulate material, so even plastic knives can carve it. If you are introducing small children to soap carving, using plastic knives is a good idea.
However, a plastic knife will not be as easy to use or as precise as something sharper, stronger, and more specialized. There are many other soap carving tools out there, some very ordinary and others made just for carving.
Please visit our list of recommend carving kit supplies.
- Fruit seeding knives
Fruit seeding knives are used for Thai fruit carving and Thai soap carving. They have long curved and sharp blades with fairly long handles. These are very specialized tools that would have been hard to find before the internet allowed you to find everything you want to buy with a quick search.
- Butter knives
A step up from a plastic knife, a butter knife is a good option for older children or anyone just starting out in soap carving. It’s almost as hard to hurt yourself with a butter knife as it is with a plastic knife. It is a lot better at carving, however, and is easier to make precision cuts with.
For those who are just starting out with soap carving and plan on becoming more artistic or even doing ASMR videos, a butter knife is a good way to get your technique down before you start using anything that could really cut you.
While you won’t be able to use it extremely precisely, it does allow you to understand how to hold the soap bar and carve without cutting yourself. Think of the butter knife as the soap carving equivalent of training wheels.
- Pocket knives
Many kinds of pocket knives can work well for soap cutting. Straighter blades are generally easier to manipulate as you carve than curved ones. If soap cutting is something you do as a hobby and you want a more precise but still budget-friendly tool that can be found almost anywhere (or that you may already own), a pocket knife can be a good choice. Note that the sharper the pocket knife is, the more precise it will cut.
- Craft knives
Craft knives are very commonly used for ASMR soap carving videos, though they are also nice choices for artistic soap carving. As long as you like the shape of the blade and the feel of the handle, any craft knife will do of general soap carving. You can find many different kinds of craft knives at hobby stores, including some that have sharpening kits included.
- Whittling/carving knives
Soap carving is very similar to whittling, though the material is more pliable. Whittling knives work very, very well for soap carving. They’re already designed for use with one hand to do small work on a three-dimensional surface. While sharp, the blades are small for the sake of safety. They also tend to stay pretty sharp for a while, even after working with wood. They stay sharper for longer when working with soap.
For a budget way to do very detailed soap carving work, buy some toothpicks. Soap is so pliable that a toothpick can be used to make small marks on it, even score it. You will probably break a number of toothpicks that you use for soap carving, but they are very cheap. They are also a good option to include with a kid’s soap carving “kit” since they are safe to use and allow children to be even more creative with their soap carvings.
- Wood carving tools
If you want to get a variety of textures, cuts, and effects on your soap carvings, consider investing in a set of wood carving tools. You can get them in sets of anywhere from one to twenty-four.
These long-handled carving tools allow you to make very precise cuts in a variety of shapes and sizes thanks to their diverse shapes, included angled blades, chisels, gouges, pinpoint tools, and more.
There are also larger specialized ones, like carving hooks for bowled shapes. Many kits include cases, blade protectors, and/or sharpeners. If you are looking to create some truly elaborate soap sculptures, a set of carving tools is a must.
Soap carving tools can be either cheap or expensive, depending on what you’re looking for. For children, plastic knives (if they are very young) or butter knives can still allow them to carve soap very well and stay safe while doing it.
If you’re first starting the hobby or doing soap carving ASMR videos, a craft knife will take you very far and allow you to do a number of things. However, if you want to make works of art, a set of carving tools will open up a lot of options and will be a one-time investment.
The tools you use for soap carving are really up to you. Decide on what you want out of your carving, what your budget is, and how safe you feel with sharper blades. Even butter knives can produce some really fun and eye-catching soap carvings—provided they are backed by imagination!